[b-hebrew] Ayin and Ghayin
kwrandolph at email.com
Mon Oct 31 15:11:29 EST 2005
Haven't you been reading my earlier posts?
First, I believe that the Phoenicians got the alphabet from
the Hebrews, not the other way around.
Second, when languages are spelled phonetically, their
alphabets tend to shrink and grow according to
recognized phonemes in the language. As evidence, look
at what the Greeks and Romans did to the alphabet they
received from the Semites, and that's just two examples.
That the ancient Hebrews did not have separate
graphemes until much, much later, a millennium and a
half or more later, is evidence that when ancient Hebrews
first used the alphabet, the split had not yet occurred.
The two above reasons are (strongly) opposed by many,
but added to the following I think make a stronger case:
One, I noticed that phonemic difference between sin and
shin is rare, it appears to be as rare in percent of words as
for any other letter where the same spelling has two or
more distinct meanings.
Two, I have noticed several words that have the same
meanings, used in the same contexts, yet here spelled
with a sin, there with a shin.
Three, in looking at words from a common root,
sometimes one uses a sin, another a shin.
It is these five reasons that conspired together to cause
me to question what I had been taught when I studied
Hebrew. Each one alone is not convincing, but taken
Karl W. Randolph.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Stoney Breyer" <stoneyb at touchwood.net>
> Granted that people will assimilate what they hear to the phonemic
> distinctions which they are prepared to recognize and their orthographic
> system permits them to represent, this calls for skepticism respecting
> only the phonetic precision of the transcription, not the distinction
> itself. Canadian and Tidewater dialects do not say u: for au in house,
> the Welsh name Llewellyn does not start with an "f" phoneme - but
> transcriptions like "aboot the hoose" or "Fluellen" do represent real
> phonetic differences from "standard" English pronunciations.
> As I understand it, historical linguistics systematically relates the
> sin/shin opposition (which you concede the Masoretes actually heard) to
> phonemic distinctions evident in cognate languages which could not be
> realized in the Phoenician alphabet. Whence do you derive the
> Stoney Breyer
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